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The Contemporary Master Craftsmen
The Masterpiece by Kenichi Kumasu


Kenichi Kumasu is a 2019 Contemporary Master Craftsman selection. With more than 50 years of experience, he is recognized as the best in finishing every step of the process, from purchasing raw wood to shaping the legs of the board.

*The Contemporary Master Craftsman Award is presented by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare to craftsmen who possess outstanding skills and are considered masters.

While grain and luster are essential in selecting a Go Board, Kenichi Kumasu says that the legs are also a necessary part of the process. Craftsmen who hand-carve the legs in the shape of gardenia fruit are rare in Japan. The legs are an inconspicuous part of the board but require a high skill level. A Go board with elaborately made legs is evidence of a board that has been carefully crafted with that much care and attention.
Hand-carved by Kenichi Kumasu, the legs give the board a soft, smooth, and distinctive silhouette, adding a noble touch to the Hyuga Kaya (Japanese Torreya) board.
The fruit of the gardenia is the shape of the legs of the board. The Japanese pronunciation of the word "gardenia" is the same as "No Mouth." Therefore, the gardenia shape of the legs of the Go board means "Others should not speak in the game.

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